IMDB description : New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. ‘The Witch’ is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.
IMDB rating : 6.8

You need to watch this film.

Seriously. It’s just great. And the less you know about it before seeing it the better. So all you need to know is that it is a tense, atmospheric psychological thriller. With witches. Or maybe not…

I just loved this film. Everything about it works so well. From the opening shot right through. It is so beautiful and so horrible and tense at the same time. It has this slow build, and yet it never felt slow to me. It felt perfectly paced. The isolation of the family, all the little moments of tension between them, and yet they are trying their best to live their lives according to their religious beliefs. To do their best for everyone. And yet they are failing.

The whole puritan mindset, where almost everything you do is wrong and pulls you away from God is something I just can’t get my head around. I’m more of an atheist myself, but even growing up that wasn’t the sort of religion I associate with Christianity. The Catholic Church had changed a lot by the time I was growing up, it was more about the love and the forgiveness aspects of god. Not this god that might curse a family for no reason they could ever understand. Where constant prayer was needed, where every thing was a sin. Where a child who died might be doomed to everlasting hell! If you believe in hell, that’s a really horrible thing to contemplate. And how could you have faith in a god like that? One who would doom an innocent to everlasting torment?

And then you factor in how hard life was, just to survive. Well, is it any wonder that they believed in witches and that Satan was lurking out there waiting for you to slip, just a little, and doom you forever. Better to believe that someone who suffers tragedy deserved it, than to consider how precarious you’re own existence is. If they suffered because they did wrong you could prevent that happening to you by praying harder and not giving into temptation.

But then who do you blame when your life and your family is hit with loss and tragedy?

And what if there really were witches out there?

How can you trust anyone, even your own family when the devil could be in them?

And you are all alone in the wilderness with only your family.

Yeah, tense and emotional and utterly gripping.

And there is a lot more that could be said, but I don’t want to risk any spoilers for anyone, so just go watch it and then come back.

See also : MetaCritic : Rotten Tomatoes

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